Dessert Herbs Ice Cream Summer

Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream

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Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream in pan with scoop

Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream is made with real mint leaves and dark chocolate ~ summer eating doesn’t get any better!   The zippy flavor of the fresh mint paired with an extra quantity of dark chocolate makes this the best mint chip ice cream I’ve ever tasted. 

Mint chip ice cream pin.

The minute the weather starts to warm up I start dreaming about ice cream flavors.  My youngest daughter and I made our first trip of the season to our favorite ice cream shop the other night after dinner, I got Bourbon & Coffee, she got Chocolate Gooey Brownie, and I’ll have fabulous ice cream flavors swirling around in my brain from now until the end of August, when I’ll finally give it a rest until the next season.

This fresh mint chip ice cream is fancy ice cream shop quality made right in your own kitchen.

Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream in a glass dish with mint sprig

Mint chip  ice cream made with fresh mint tastes very different from ice cream made with peppermint extract or other flavorings.  I was surprised at how little mint I needed for this recipe–one good sized handful of mint leaves, steeped for 2 hours in hot cream was all it took to give a really nice mint flavor.   The cooling sensation of fresh mint makes this flavor one of the most refreshing ever.  If you’re a mint chocolate chip lover (and aren’t we all?) this is going to rock your world.

You can pluck fresh mint leaves from your garden or get them in the herb section of your supermarket.  If you have any patch of dirt available, mint grows like a weed, as long as it gets enough water.  I used a combination of about half spearmint and half peppermint, both of which I have growing in little containers in my garden.  The flavor is so refreshing and bears very little resemblance to freezer aisle mint ice cream.

Fresh mint chip ice cream in the ice cream machine

The chocolate is melted with a bit of oil and then drizzled into the ice cream during the last couple minutes of churning, which gives it that delicate, almost lacy effect. No hard, frozen chunks of chocolate to bite into, but lots of chocolate flavor!

The technique, if you’re curious is called stracciatella, or shards in Italian, and beautifully flecked stracciatella is one of the most popular gelato flavors in Italy.

Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream in pan with blue cloth

Tips for Growing Mint in Containers ~

You don’t need a big yard to grow your own fresh herbs–lots of herbs grow very well in containers.  Mint is an especially good choice for container gardening because it tends to spread out of control in the garden.

  • There are lots of varieties of mint  to choose from these days. Spearmint is what you normally find at the grocery store, and is what you most commonly think of when you think of classic “mint” flavor. You can also get peppermint, which has a slightly different flavor that you’ll recognize as the minty flavor that is often used to flavor desserts. You can even buy chocolate mint, with the chocolate flavor built right in!
  • Mint likes sun, but can take some shade, so take advantage of the places in your garden or on your patio that get a bit of shade during the day.
  • Harvest mint sprigs regularly by pinching off the top 1/3 or so of a stem. This will encourage more growth.   Don’t take more than about 1/3 of the plant at a time.
  • Water regularly. Mint plants like water, and containers can dry out quickly on hot summer days.
  • Want to grow your mint indoors? You can, check out these tips.

Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream in pan with scoop

Which ice cream machine do I recommend?

I get asked all the time about what machine I use. I use and recommend Cuisinart. I’ve had my machine for years without any issues, I think because there are no fussy electronic parts to break down ~ it’s a simple motor that turns the freezer bowl for churning the ice cream and it works quickly and perfectly every time.

  • The machine I use, and it’s the base model. It works great for ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbets, and makes all of them in about 2o minutes. Click HERE or click on the image for more info.

Recipe lightly adapted from Serious Eats


Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream in pan with scoop
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3.14 from 141 votes

Fresh Mint Ice Cream


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 large handful fresh mint leaves about 1 cup, lightly packed
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil canola, sunflower


  • Heat the cream and half and half in a saucepan until just simmering.
  • Remove from the heat, add the mint leaves, cover and let steep for 2 hours.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar and set aside.
  • Strain the mint leaves out of the cream, pour back into the saucepan, and add the egg yolk mixture.
  • Place back on the stove and heat over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  • Strain again to remove any bits of cooked egg yolk, and chill thoroughly (preferably overnight).
  • Churn according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
  • While the ice cream is churning, melt the dark chocolate with the oil in the microwave or in a double boiler and mix until it is smooth.
  • Pour the chocolate in a thin stream over the ice cream when it is almost done churning, you can break up any large pieces of chocolate that form with a spoon.
  • Place in a freezer safe container and freeze for at least a few hours before serving.

Make it your own ~

  • Make it greener if you’re one of those who loves that green color of the store bought stuff, add a drop or two of green food coloring.
  • Make it mintier ~ tear and crush the mint leaves as you add them to the hot cream, this will release more of the essential oils.
  • Make it lighter ~ use half heavy cream and half whole milk.
  • Make it without the fresh mint ~ use mint extract.  The amount will depend on the brand you are using, start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste.


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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    October 15, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    I made this and it was a hit with everyone! The only thing I did different was I put the mint leaves in before I simmered the cream. I also smashed them up while they were cooking.

  • Reply
    September 23, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    I’ve tried the recipe twice now and I can’t get it to thicken. Nothing happens when I put it in the ice cream maker

    • Reply
      September 23, 2019 at 2:34 pm

      It sounds like an issue with your machine Emily, if your machine is working properly it will freeze the mixture. Make sure you’ve chilled it before you add it, and make sure you’ve frozen the bowl of the machine overnight before using.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    In the middle of making this and it literally tastes like nothing after steeping for over two hours. Any tips?

    • Reply
      August 9, 2019 at 3:27 pm

      That’s so strange, mint is super strong. One thing you can do to release more flavor from any herb is to crush it, so you could do that with the back of a spoon or something to release the oils in the leaves. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    July 4, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    Hi Sue, when you let the mint leaves steep in the cream, do you refrigerate it or is it okay to leave it on the stove off the heat?

    • Reply
      July 4, 2019 at 5:52 pm

      On the stove Alena, but if you wanted to you could do it in the fridge, up to overnight for stronger flavor.

  • Reply
    sofya Brown
    July 3, 2019 at 6:23 am

    You seem very nice, and the recipe looks great I am making it right now!.

  • Reply
    June 26, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    This recipe seems awesome and I really want to make it, but I have a big family. How much does this recipe yield?

    • Reply
      June 26, 2018 at 3:02 pm

      It makes approximately 2 pints, Kylie, I’ve updated the recipe to include that, thanks!

  • Reply
    June 4, 2018 at 8:50 am

    I made this ice cream over the weekend and it is SO GOOD!! I used Swerve to sweeten it so it’s sugar free too! I never knew what to do with the mint I grow other than put a leaf or two in iced tea but now I know!! I will be making this again before summer’s over. Probably more than once :) Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply
      June 4, 2018 at 9:21 am

      That’s fantastic Nancy, and I’m really glad to know that Swerve works so well here.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    May 27, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Let ice cream season begin! This sounds wonderful and looks so creamy. Hope you’re enjoying your holiday weekend.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    May 26, 2018 at 5:10 am

    So pretty and no doubt refreshing! Have a great long weekend, Sue!

  • Reply
    May 25, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Can this be made as a no churn ice cream??
    It sounds delicious!!

    • Reply
      May 26, 2018 at 10:30 am

      It can be, you could follow the general recipe from one of my no churn ice creams, you will just need to find a way to steep the mint leaves to get that flavor. I would probably heat the condensed milk and steep them, then chill it before moving on with the recipe. I’m not sure you can whip cream that’s been heated and cooled, but you could try that, too. As for the fine chocolate bits, that’s more of a challenge, you might just fold in very finely minced chocolate before freezing.

      • Reply
        May 26, 2018 at 10:32 am

        Here’s a link to my no churn vanilla bean ice cream..

        • Reply
          December 15, 2019 at 11:29 pm

          My no churn ice-cream recipe is never icy and keeps for months in the freezer. To prevent it going icy and the consistency of a firm soft-serve (that you can scoop straight from the freezer) you should add another ingredient such as caramel, an alcohol such as Baileys, a drinking chocolate powder or anything else eg melted chocolate. Leaving it plain or not mixing enough vanilla bean paste means it won’t go creamy and freezes too firm. If you saw my ice-cream you would see it doesn’t have an icy look. My two base ingredients are a 300 ml of thickened cream and 195 ml of condensed milk. I pour both into a stand mixer together and whip until a solid ripple occurs. Under-whipping is better. Any longer and you’ll have butter. I add the flavouring either in the last minute of whipping or stir it in by hand until I get the look I want. I’m currently steeping an entire bunch of fresh mint in heated condensed milk to try to get a natural mint flavour. Hint: Use an air-tight container and, you can also cover the ice-cream with cling wrap before putting the lid on to store the ice-cream.

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    May 25, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Looks so good. Pinning!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    May 25, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Wow, this looks fantastic! I love everything about it. You’re right about mint growing like a weed. I have a huge patch and it’s a bone of contention between Scott and I as it loves to invade his beautiful lawn without mercy! :)

  • Reply
    May 25, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Just put my two ice cream maker inserts in the freezer yesterday in hopes of having some yummy frozen treats in the near future. You beat me to the starting line and it sounds delish.

    • Reply
      May 25, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      I’ve got to get an extra insert for my machine,too!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    May 25, 2018 at 9:05 am

    I LOVE making homemade ice cream Sue! And this is my son Casey’s favorite flavor! Can’t wait to try your recipe!

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    May 25, 2018 at 5:15 am

    Today it starts to feel like summer here..bring and sunny…this is a perfectly refreshing and delicious cooler.

    • Reply
      May 25, 2018 at 8:15 am

      Here too ~ enjoy your weekend Angie!